Engineering

Docker: The Secret Sauce to Fuel Innovation

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Summary
Much has already been written about the virtues of Docker, and containers in general like CoreOS or Kubernetes. How life-changing Docker is, how innovative, etc. However, the real secret to Docker’s success in the marketplace is the hidden retribution of innovation.

Much has already been written about the virtues of Docker, and containers in general like CoreOS or Kubernetes. How life-changing Docker is, how innovative, etc. However, the real secret to Docker’s success in the marketplace is the hidden retribution of innovation. Innovation and R&D is the lifeblood of today’s technology success. Companies, no matter how large, must iterate constantly to stay ahead of their legacy competitors and new upstarts risking disruption. The rise of Agile methodologies and DevOps teams comes with the expectations of more releases, more features, and ultimately a better product.

How can you maintain this pace of innovation? Allow your developers to develop, instead of focusing on tedious — and time consuming — tasks dealing with distributed application upkeep and maintenance.

Pre-Docker Life

At AppDynamics, we primarily use Docker for our field enablement resources, such as demo environments. Before Docker, we would have to spin up a virtual machine with create some fake load inside the environment to show the benefits of AppDynamics’ monitoring. There was no quick, or easy way to make an update to the VM — even a small update. Any minor change (which as an Agile company, were often), would require some heavy lifting work for our developers. There was no version control.

Productivity Gain

Removing redundant work such as updating a demo environment VM — which let’s face it, devs don’t want to do in the first place — frees up vital time for the developers to get back doing what they do best. Setting up machines becomes obsolete and devs gonna dev.

At any company, you’re likely paying a substantial wage for quality engineers. With that expense, you should expect innovation.

Docker, in our case, also removes the project abandonment risk. If a project owner is sick or leaves the company there is typically an audit process of analyzing the code. More often than not, a good chunk would have to be rebuilt in a more consistent manner. With Docker, you insource your code into a standardized container, allowing seamless handoff to the next project owner.

Fostering DevOps

Along with passing to the next project manager, the handoff between dev, QA, and Ops becomes seamless as well — which is a main foundation of DevOps. How we use Docker, and I assume others do as well, allows us maintain repeatable processes and enable our field teams.

The shareability allows us to incorporate best practices among the entire team and provide a consistent front with engagements.

Interested to see how AppDynamics and Docker work together? Check out this blog!